Habitat Loss, Land Use, and Conservation

In this module you have learned about how carrying capacity imposes restrictions on population growth, and how human economic growth and land use can threaten biodiversity. In this Case Assignment you will look at these topics from three perspectives:

  • Case studies of government regulation of land and trade restrictions to address threatened species in the Economist article: “Political Responses: Where eagles dare”
  • Examples of large mammals and the size of the habitat necessary to support them
  • The cost of conservation in a Botanical Garden case study

Case Assignment

Part I

To prepare for this article, in paragraph format (one paragraph should be plenty):

  1. Define “invasive species” using the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) website: www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/index.shtml
  2. Provide three examples of invasive species in your region.
  3. Define “endemic species,” and provide an example of an endemic species from anywhere in the world. If you can find an example of an endemic species in your region, please include it as well.

Now read the article Political Responses: Where eagles dare. (2013, Sep 14). The Economist, 408(8853):9.

After you have read the article, answer the following questions in paragraph format by using an introduction sentence, related topic sentences and a conclusion statement that draws connections between the ideas presented. You should be able to address all questions in Part I in 1–2 paragraphs.

  1. Name some ways that governments are trying to redress threats against endemic species. Briefly describe the examples presented in this article.
  2. What is described as the biggest challenge for governments?
  3. How are governments addressing this challenge?

Part II

With habitat loss, less land and resources means lower carrying capacity. For the second part of this assignment, you will apply the readings from your Module 4 Home page to two cases in which conservation of habitat applies to carrying capacity and economics. Choose one of these large predators to investigate: African predators (lions, hyenas, etc.), cougars (mountain lions), or polar bears.

  1. What size of land/water is required to support this animal?
  2. What pressures threaten this organism’s habitat?
  3. What role does international trade and political regulation play in protecting this organism? Are these in place and enforced?

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